16 April 2011

Mt. Vesuvius

My children love to hear about ancient Rome, the story of Romulus and Remus and the last days of Pompeii are amongst their favourites. So maybe it's not surprising that my daughter, when allowed to choose a project from a baking book, settled for an erupting volcano. Essentially, it's a marble cake turned red and baked in a bowl. The following recipe is adapted from Kreider-Stempfle and Frensemeier, "Das gro├če Buch vom Backen und Bauen", Gerstenberg 2008. 
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Prepare the batter:

250 g butter
250 g sugar
350 g flour
5 level tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
6 eggs

Combine butter and sugar, add flour, salt and baking powder, finally, add the eggs. Puree six large strawberries. 

Take 250 g of the batter and put into another bowl. Add the following to this portion (this is your volcano's magma):

3 tbsp pureed strawberries (keep the remainder)
1 tsp lime juice
red food colouring.

To the remaining dough, add the following:
50 g cocoa
80 g sugar
2 tbsp milk.

Butter an 18-20 cm oven proof bowl, and spread the cocoa batter on the bottom and along the sides. Fill with the red batter, top with cocoa batter. Who'd know this was a volcano?

Place in the oven (a baking tray underneath will catch any overflow!) and bake for 30 minutes. Cut off the top above the edge of the bowl, return to the oven for another 20-30 minutes until almost done.  I think a slightly gooey centre is appropriate for a volcano, don't you? Leave to rest for 10 minutes. 

Cut off the top to achieve a straight surface, and set aside. Cut along the sides and turn the cake out onto a plate. Use the cut-offs as crumbling pieces of rock and lava along its side. Cut into the top to open up the volcano, and remove a few pieces. Trickle the remaining strawberry sauce over the volcano and adorn with rock and lava. 

What an explosion! 

Tidy slices for adults,
but messy exploded heaps for children!

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